An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle takes flight on a targeted mission from Shamsi Airfield, an airstrip subleased to the United States by the UAE from inside the southwest region of Pakistan. At the same time a farmer awakes, in northwest Pakistan, happy; a husband and father of four with his youngest daughter just married the day before. After reaching a service ceiling of 25,000 ft. and cruising speed of 103 mph the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator begins descending to its destination. Hamid Abdullah, a refugee I met during my travels to the northwest border region, was a hardworking man, kind, loving and very caring of his family, finds his pantry empty and leaves for the market to collect groceries. The Predator drone now in range locks on the target. Upon reaching the Bazaar, Abdullah, from behind him he hears a thundering explosion. After firing an AGM-114 Hellfire missile the drone begins to circumnavigate. As a concerned human, the Pakistani man, naturally inclined, runs to see what happened and to perhaps provide aid to anyone hurt. He approaches, and with crushing and crippling realization, his entire home in total destruction. The world of happiness, his family, lay dead in the rubble, wrenching vibrations send him to his knees. An hour later the UAV locks in the second Hellfire missile as the operator from Creech Air force Base in Nevada reaches to quench his thirst from a freshly refilled ice tea. In the tribal region of Pakistan first responders, neighbors, other civilians and business owners run with haste to pull out the dead and injured. As temporary funeral preparations are made a $68,000 guided weapons system developed by Lockheed Martin strikes the same location inciting terror on a new level, killing the entire procession of emergency services, tripling the original death toll of, not just innocent civilians, but honorable servicemen duty bound by the code of humanity. Read More
Activists, lawyers, human rights advocates, civil liberties defenders and others came together for a major international summit on drone warfare and the issues created by drone use yesterday. The summit was co-organized by CODEPINK, the Center for Constitutional Rights and Reprieve. An exceptional lineup of speakers addressed participants detailing salient and significant aspects around the Obama administration’s expansion of the covert drone wars in countries like Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.
Part 1 of 4 videos (see below for others):
The day wrapped up with a speech from Jeremy Scahill of The Nation, who has been one of the few journalists to actually travel to these countries where the covert drone war is playing out. Scahill has produced reports on Yemen and Somalia that show how the US is carrying out its “war on terrorism” and using drones to target and kill people.